"It is important to make the distinction between regret for your past actions or distress over present shortcomings and lack of self-love, which you experience as self-loathing or worthlessness. These feelings of regret and distress are a necessary part of maturing behavior... Of course it is appropriate to experience your faults for what they are, but it is even more important that you hold those faults in a context of compassionate love for yourself. On the spiritual path, you don't create your identity based on your faults; rather, by acknowledging your shortcomings, you are able to see clearly the harm they cause you and others. This clear-seeing becomes the motivation to develop an inner life so that even the bad moments are not wasted; instead, they are used for spiritual fuel. Moreover, fully opening to the suffering caused by unskillful behavior evokes feelings of compassion, the appropriate response to suffering no matter its origin." – Phillip Moffitt, Emotional Chaos to Clarity, pp. 123-24.
What are you noticing about legitimate regret or distress in your life and the suffering that arises from self-loathing?
for Mindful Monday
Photo Credit: "Bac à compost communautaire et bac à compost normal," solylunafamilia, 2008.